On February 20, 2014, the Oregon Public Health Association (OPHA) sponsored Capitol Visit Day, an educational and advocacy event that offered the chance for constituents to meet Oregon’s policy and public health leaders from around the state. Participants learned about public health-related bills that the legislature has been considering during the 2014 session and were offered the opportunity to share their views with leadership in the Oregon Senate and House.
This year, the primary focus of the OPHA was tobacco and obesity, the two leading preventable causes of death and disability nation wide. From the perspective of others and myself at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, these issues have strong ties to the workplace. Because we as citizens spend nearly half our waking hours at work, it must be recognized that tobacco use and obesity (with associated diseases of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, etc.) are intimately associated with pressures the workplace imposes on our ability to make healthy lifestyle choices. Abnormal work schedules and sleep cycle disturbance, sedentary work duties, job stress, workplace culture, all can either directly or indirectly promote obesity and tobacco use.
When I spoke with my Oregon state senator, I stressed approaching these health issues holistically from the standpoint of Total Worker Health (TWH). This is how we at Occupational Health Sciences are addressing these important public health issues. In the long run, promoting healthy lifestyles at work as well as at home will ultimately help reduce the costs of healthcare in the Unites States.
By the way, Occupational Health Sciences is sponsoring our Spring Symposium June 5, 2014, titled Sedentary, Stationary and Physically Demanding Work: Health Consequences and Workplace Solutions. Click the above link for more information.
Click here for information on Total Worker Health and the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center.